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Monogram 1/48 F-8E Crusader…

July 25, 2014 in Aviation

The Vought F-8 Crusader has always been a favorite of mine. It has to me some of the same classic look as the Hawker Hunter does. And it was one of the greatest Navy fighters ever, a fitting jet descendant of the famous Vought F4U Corsair. Vought’s designer, John Russell Clark, did a great, inspirational job on the Crusader, as Rex Beisel did on the Corsair (which Clark also worked on). I remember reading somewhere, that during it’s heyday, the F-8 was the Western fighter the Soviet Union feared the most.

This is another of my builds from way back, using the Monogram kit, which to me is still a pretty good product, and once again, at a fraction of the cost of the Hasegawa kit. Even better if you already have 3 more in your closet that you bought years ago!

The model depicts (I believe!) an F-8E flown by Commander Dick “Belly” Bellinger, who became the CO of VF-162 “The Hunters”, aboard the USS Oriskany, during the Vietnam War. Bellinger was the first Navy pilot to shoot down a MiG-21, on 9 October 1966, though possibly not in this aircraft. Although I’m not sure about that, as the old Squadron In Action book on the F-8 has a nice painting by Lou Drendel on the cover that shows this F-8E “202” of 162 Squadron shooting down a MiG-21, but no info inside about the painting!

The decals I used were from the 1/48 ESCI kit of the F-8. That kit was inferior compared to the Monogram, and I never made it. But I used the decals because I wanted to do an aircraft Bellinger had flown. I remember that the ESCI decal sheet had an amusing error, they spelled “ORISKANY” as “ORYISCANY”. So I removed the 1st “Y”, and applied the name in two parts!

Anyway, I don’t remember any real problems with the build. I did use an aftermarket ejection seat (I think it was metal, maybe Aeroclub?), as I seem to recall the kit seat was not correct. Also, there is supposedly a problem with the stance of the main landing gear, and I attempted a fix on this, which was partially successful. I have an aftermarket kit that corrects this, which I will use on the next one. Also have another conversion kit to add underwing fuselage detail when raising the leading edge of the wing (one of the F-8’s unique features), and also to mount the leading edge slats in a deployed position. I guess I can make a better F-8 with this extra stuff, without having to buy a mega cost Hasegawa kit.

PS: I am a big fan of Russian aircraft, and in a book on MiG by Bill Sweetman, in the chapter on the MiG-25 Foxbat, he credits the design of the F-8 Crusader as being inspiration for North American’s A-5 Vigilante, which then greatly influenced the design of the MiG-25 Foxbat. It has to do with the high shoulder mounted wing, and slab sided fuselage. The MiG-25 is a fascinating aircraft, and so is the F-8 Crusader (and the A-5 Vigilante). It is interesting how aero design trends can (or could) affect new aircraft designs in different countries simultaneously.

17 additional images. Click to enlarge

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22 responses to Monogram 1/48 F-8E Crusader…

  1. Great model ! nice build and beautiful colors !

  2. Another great Monogram build!

  3. Can’t be those “old” Monogram offerings….pretty decent kit all around at a fraction of the cost of those Asian imports – lol
    Excellent build and photography, Robert.

  4. A nice Crusader, well done, i did mine from a RoG boxing with folded
    wings, still looks good to me, the hardest point, for me on these jets, is
    this yellow seal, the last results are still disappointing.

    • Bernd,
      You are right about the yellow windscreen (and sometimes canopy) seals, they are a bear to get to look right. Takes a really careful masking job, or a steady hand, or both!

  5. Nice work as usual Robert. I also built this Monogram model and the thing that impressed me was the size of the aircraft flown by a single pilot compared to WWII aircraft. Nice photos as well.

  6. You certainly have an eye for beautiful designs, Robert, and the colour scheme on this one really sets it off. A real treat to look at.

  7. Yet again Robert another great build.
    Well done sir.

  8. To me this is another one of those “Bad Boy” looking aircraft. You certainly did it justice Robert.

  9. Nicely done Crusader Robert. Thanks for not hanging bombs and rockets all over it, the F8 always looks best when it’s slicked up and looking for a fight.
    Besides that, anything connected to the “O boat” gets my vote, my Uncle was aboard during the fire.

  10. Nice write-up and build Robert. Once again proof that those old Monogram kits can more than hold their own – especially in the hands of a skilled builder. Really like it (and I’m not even a jet guy!) Nice one.

  11. really really nice

  12. Looks good. I built this kit with unmodified landing gear and you can certainly tell the difference! My strakes are about a 1/4″ off the table and it is scrunched down on its haunches! Yours looks better! (The fix I read about was adding an 1/8″ bit of stock to the upper strut. Is that what you did on this one?) I too like Russian aircraft as well. I always hear people say “They copied out stuff.” but I think it’s more to do with the fact that to design an aircraft, there are only so many ways to go about getting the desired result. (Like the Tu-144 and Concorde.) For both companies the delta was the desired option and from there, they’re bound to start looking similar!

    • Josh,
      I can’t remember exactly, but I think I did insert a short section of sprue to extend the main gear a bit. Also think the wheels on my model are not quite right, they should lean in a bit more at the top. Will try to do better next time!

      • Just having the tail up in the air looks much better. I think I read about the gear fix in FSM like 20 some odd years ago. I just didn’t take the time to do it on mine. After seeing yours, I wish I would’ve! (Oh well, just an excuse to build another one!) I do like the Navy color schemes from this era.

  13. Looks amazing Robert, stunning finish.

  14. hey Richard, good to hear from you again, what’s happening?

  15. Nice Crusader, Robert! Great minds think alike. I did the exact same thing with Esci decals and a Mongram kit back in the 90s. I’ll post it to headlines.

  16. Outstanding work, Robert! The Crusader is my favorite jet, too! I have four F-8’s on the shelf, (two Monogram) and another on the workbench. I built Bellinger’s jet myself, using a Hasegawa F-8 kit and Eduard decals.

  17. Awesome Crusader – excellent finish!

  18. Hi Robert-you did a Beautiful job on your Crusader- you definitely have the “touch” when it comes to building models-especially jets!

  19. Bob,
    Your F-8 is beautiful. I have built two of these and loved doing each one. The landing gear is a bit of a bummer but not a fatal flaw. I have the Hasagawa kit on my to do list. It is the current technology but it still has to go a way to beat Monogram.

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